DGE Announces New Responsible Gambling Measure To Help Identify Warning Signs

Written By Dave Bontempo on February 10, 2023 - Last Updated on March 10, 2023
DGE Problem Gaming Initiative

Amid high-profile Super Bowl betting, the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement highlights a bold new plan for early problem gambling detection.

The DGE announced via press release they are working with online gambling companies in using technology to identify and address at-risk patrons.

Operators of gambling platforms will now be required to analyze electronically-maintained player data to determine whether a gambler is showing signs of trouble. They will then use numerous tools at their disposal to help the player avoid potential dangers.

This brand of outreach is a major extension beyond the current framework to address problem gambling.

Using player data adds to current problem gambling measures

With this being Super Bowl weekend, NJ sports betting has the spotlight. Analysts have New Jersey’s projected $115.5 million handle trailing only Nevada and New York.

But no matter which two teams are playing in the Big Game, responsible gaming measures have been in place.

The format has consisted of players opting for self-exclusion, budgetary or time limits.

It has been augmented by some operators alerting gamblers in-play about how long they’d been betting, how much they’d wagered in a recent time period and their net profit and loss.

Sports organizations like the NFL have also lent their voice to Responsible Gambling via commercials.

Efforts to help problem gamblers have indeed been snowballing for a number of years.

DGE responsible gambling first of its kind

Instead of requiring players to recognize when they have a problem and to seek help, this measure will provide proactive, targeted communication. It will make  patrons aware of what habits they are exhibiting and then assist them with guidance, information and future options.

As part of the terms and conditions you must agree to before access is granted to online gambling platforms, players consent to have their play monitored and recorded. This, among other things, is a potential safeguard against fraud, identity theft, and cheating.

Formally launched on Jan. 1, the new initiative is the first of its kind in the country.

State officials, the DGE and the Council on Compulsive Gambling for  New Jersey hailed the initiative as a prudent problem-gambling deterrent.

Its timing is appropriate in the age of soaring online gaming popularity.

Garden State gamblers wagered nearly $11 billion last year, a state record, with the majority of it originating online.

“New Jersey has become a national leader in online casino games and sports wagering, and with that growth comes a responsibility to ensure that individuals at risk for compulsive gambling have access to the resources they need to get help,” said New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin. “It is no coincidence that our announcement comes just a week ahead of one of the biggest days in sports wagering, serving as a reminder of how devastating a gambling addiction can be.”

DGE outlines player parameters for new plan for NJ gambling apps

The DGE has set specific parameters on what patron activities operators should be looking for under this new plan. This includes the following warning signs:

  • Players whose gambling time increases from week to week
  • Bettors who repeatedly self-impose cool-off periods from gaming
  • Those who wager until they have less than $1 in their accounts
  • Players who regularly access the self-exclusion page on the operator’s website without ultimately executing an exclusion

In addition to problematic play, platforms will also be monitoring for account activity that could be indicative of problem gambling.

This includes:

  • Deposits for thousands of dollars over a short span of time
  • A player making multiple requests in a 24-hour span to increase the limits on deposits or losses

Here is what DGE Director David Rebuck has to say about the initiative:

“We are using data to identify at-risk players, alert them to their suspected disordered gambling, and inform them about available responsible gambling features in online platforms and corrective actions they can take. This new approach will enable dedicated responsible gaming experts employed by the platforms and us to see the early warning signs and reach at-risk patrons before they find themselves in a financial catastrophe.”

Balancing accessibility and security

Many online patrons have nearly unlimited gaming access. They can juggle accounts with several operators, essentially bringing many casinos to the palm of one’s hand at any time.

Unlike at Atlantic City casinos, player do not need to walk across a casino floor. The constant access can turn one dry spell into a problem.

Gamblers are ultimately responsible for their own choices. However, this measure is the latest innovation among many to curb problems before they escalate.

Along with the New Jersey initiative, bettors can expect continual attention and access to helpful tools.

New Jersey is using the February Super Bowl to highlight its program. The National Council of Problem Gambling designates every March as Problem Gambling Awareness Month, tying in with March Madness.

Photo by Shutterstock.com
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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, a multiple national award-winning boxing commentator and writer, authors NFL betting columns for the Press of Atlantic City and others. He writes about all major sports in the booming legal New Jersey sports betting industry. Dave also hosts the Why Eagles Why podcast. Dave is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame and the Atlantic City International Boxing Hall of Fame.

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